Natural Ink Making

Ages: 5-7 to adult including SEN

Suggested Group size: Any – A solo or group activity

Time to Prepare: Half an hour

Activity Run time: 2 hours

Suggested Location: Any indoor setting, from the kitchen table to a school

Suggested price: £10.00

Minimum price: £5.00



About the Experience:

Make a wonderful variety of Inks from Natural Materials like berries, leaves, nuts, chalk and bark. The recipes and methods for three simple inks are provided, and Outdoor Studios artist Amanda give prompts for how to explore drawing using your inks.

Materials List:

  • Kitchen stuff, etc.
  • Blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, elderberries or sumac
  • Natural chalk lumps
  • Vine or willow Charcoal
  • Gum Arabic powder
  • Wintergreen Oil
  • Cloves
  • Mortar and pestle or An old coffee grinder, or a zip-lock bag and blunt tool like a rolling pin/round pebbles
  • Mugs for grinding or a food grater/metal file (chalk)
  • Paper – thick cartridge or watercolour is best
  • Potato mashers
  • Old saucepans
  • Drawing boards – or smooth pieces of scrap wood
  • Coloured paper
  • Pipettes
  • Funnels
  • Measuring jugs or spoons
  • Mesh strainers or sieves
  • Glass jars (sterilized if possible)
  • Coffee filter papers
  • Brushes – nibs – and pencil-size sticks or twigs
  • Objects for drawing/painting

Learning aims:

The workshop includes aspects of all STEAM areas and at its broadest covers:

  • foraging – identification of plant type and material; simple technologies, scientific processes and tools:
  • properties of different natural materials – grinding – pulverizing – preserving – combining – extracting –
  • heating – drying – sampling; Arts: observation of colour, texture, line, form, shape, drawing + painting,
  • noticing and responding to change, developing a style; Maths: measuring – counting – timing
  • Aspects of all Key Stages 1 + 2 are covered including Core Subjects as well as many elements of Key Stages 3 + 4 including English, Maths, Science, Art + Design, Design + Technology and History

What you will find in your Zip file:

  • This information in a pdf Document
  • Ink Making and Drawing with Natural Materials Workshop Lesson Plan PDF
  • Making Three Natural Inks to draw with PDF
  • Link to Adobe Spark Page

About the Outdoor Studios Artist:

A practising artist with a fascination for natural history, Amanda has a BA in Painting, a post-graduate diploma in Painting at the Royal Academy Schools and was awarded a painting Scholarship at the British School at Rome. Her work can be found in many private and some public collections. Working with an experimental approach, Amanda enjoys engaging people from all backgrounds and ages in both the dynamic and intricate elements of landscape and natural forms through open-ended drawing, painting, writing and playing with materials; where the learner is at the heart of their learning experience.

If you would like Amanda to facilitate a workshop for you in person, please Contact Outdoor Studios